I’m back to Moldova and the daily grind after finally taking my Special Leave over the holidays and January. It all seems a bit like an alternate reality – as if I have lives going in two parallel universes, one in the U.S., and one here in Moldova. Since alternate realities normally lead to messy complicated story lines in Science Fiction, I thought I’d go for something a little easier and just do it by the numbers.
18,000: Approximate number of air miles
2,740: Miles road-tripping to see friends and family across the Midwest and Colorado
73.3: Miles of jogging, cycling, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing
44: Days gone from Moldova
42: Days in the States
16: Delicious restaurants, although I’m probably missing a couple... (I remember Mexican, Sushi, Thai, many a bar and grill, a diner, The Mercury Cafe, a vegetarian restaurant, a fun little joint in Omaha that a friend runs, and Indian.)
8: Days skiing Winter Park
7: States visited
3: Bottles of Moldovan wine tasted with my college roommate (who now is studying enology in Sonoma)
2: Days in a cabin at my old Boy Scout camp with Mom and Co.
2: Concerts in Denver (Slim Cessna’s Auto Club and Ben Folds Five)
2: Number of paintings Bill and I bought in Chicago
2: Movies (The Hobbit and Skyfall)
2: Awesome nights in Snowmass reconnecting and having fun with Lindsay
1: Run with the Denver Hash House Harriers, and trip to the Colorado History Museum
Countless: Number of friends and family reconnected with, great home cooked meals, liters of amazing micro-brew, hearty laughs, and deep conversations.
That last one, I’m quite convinced that’s not an alternate reality. One interesting thing about this trip is that for the next many years, this is probably what life will look like – especially with Bill nearing the end of USAID pre-employment. So it was a good learning experience as well in terms of how to do 30 days back in the States without sacrificing our sanity. The other nice thing about month-long vacations? It leaves me really motivated for work when I get back.